Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Dart underground application delayed

IARNRÓD ÉIREANN has had to delay its application to construct the Dart underground following discussions with An Bord Pleanála.

The company had been due to apply for a railway order for the project by the end of this month. However, due to “issues” raised by An Bord Pleanála in pre-planning meetings, it has had to look at its plans again; it now hopes to submit an application by the end of June.

A company spokesman said he could not give details of the issues raised by the planning board, but that they related to the detailed design and alignment of the route.

Opposition to the plans from residents in Inchicore, where the line will terminate, was “not one of the issues raised” by An Bord Pleanála and was not the reason for the delay, he added.

The 7.6km underground line, due to open in 2015, will link Heuston station to the Dart line for the first time, with underground stations at Spencer Dock, Pearse Street, St Stephen’s Green, Christchurch, Heuston and with a ground-level station at Inchicore.

However, some residents in Inchicore are opposing the development, claiming that tunnel-boring and station construction in such a densely populated area would make life unbearable.

A recently published report by London-based tunnelling consultants OTB Engineering, commissioned by residents group Inchicore on Track, recommended relocating the construction works a few hundred metres to an Iarnród Éireann works site.

The Dart underground project will involve splitting the current Dart line which runs north-south along the coast and creating a new interchange at Pearse Street. Once built, passengers travelling from the north side will no longer have direct access to Connolly or Tara Street stations. Their Dart will run as normal to Clontarf Road, but will then enter a tunnel at East Wall and continue to Inchicore.

Southside passengers will still have access to Pearse, Tara Street and Connolly.

However, after passing through Connolly, their train will turn west out to Maynooth, Co Kildare. To head north, they will have to change at Pearse.

Irish Times


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